Thursday, July 30, 2015

How to Use Proper Vocabulary for the TOEFL-iBT?

Non-native English speakers have different perspectives when it comes to studying the English language. Some would say that is really difficult. It is so hard because of the number of rules they have to memorize, the variety of vocabulary words to use, and the proper construction of sentences to have consistency and fluency. For other learners, they find it easy to study the language as they see it as a challenge they have to encounter every single day. They think of the future benefits they can use as they become good English speakers.

To gauge one’s English level or test an individual’s fluency in the English language, there are English proficiency tests to be taken. Among the many English fluency tests available, the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language is commonly challenged by Filipinos.

The TOEFL test evaluates one’s skill in English in the content. This means that the topics covered in the examination are from academic subjects in the university. For example, one can anticipate a reading passage about photosynthesis, a listening lecture about bird migration, a speaking task about comfort zone bias, and a writing task on the advantages of the internet. There are a lot of possibilities which the examinee should be prepared for.

One common criterion being tested is the skill in vocabulary. Vocabulary is essential as creating meaningful sentences depends upon the careful selection of words in your vocabulary bank. With a good command in vocabulary, one will be able to express his or her ideas more appropriately.

In the reading section of the test, the examinee should be able to understand concepts and ideas presented in the reading passage without the use of dictionary. The examinee has to comprehend what the certain words mean through context clues. How one understands the whole reading passage depends on his or her ability to understand words and phrases in the English language.

A good ear is needed in the listening test paired with good vocabulary. The examinee should be able to differentiate homonyms on audio recordings. Understanding the gist of the audio recording is easy once the examinee fully understands the words used in the recording. 

A choice of good words to express one’s opinion and to paraphrase ideas given on a lecture or reading passage is beneficial in the speaking section. Responses are better when the right words are used. Though words have a lot of synonyms, examinees should always find one that best suits their sentence. The same notion goes for writing. Ideas are expressed well when they are used in sentences that are properly constructed as well.

So, how can one use proper vocabulary in the TOEFL iBT?

· Know the synonyms of certain words. Be familiar with word families as well. Choose one that will clearly describe your idea.

· Do not use idioms or word phrase that you are unsure of their definition. It is a risk that you should not take.

· Read a lot to increase vocabulary. Be familiar with jargons and expressions that can be used in a particular field of study.

· Use new vocabulary often. Make it part of your system both in speaking and writing.

· Keep a vocabulary notebook. Write down new words you know and create simple sentences based on how you understand the word.

Start building your vocabulary by choosing text books of your interests. The love for reading should start on pieces that you prefer reading. As you learn, broaden your materials until learning new words becomes fun and educational. 
Check out some of these useful vocabulary for the TOELF-iBT:


  1. Best blog about TOEFL Tips

  2. Wouldn’t you love to give in your best and get the score that you have always wanted? In order to get a good TOEFL score, it is essential that you know what exactly a good TOEFL score is, and how much you should aim for learning.

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